- 13 Jun 16
ALBUM NUMBER THREE FROM DERRY ACTRESS/CHANTEUSE
Still probably best known for her acting roles in the likes of The Commitments, Pulp Fiction and many others over a twenty-five-year career, Gallagher’s musical talents have been somewhat overlooked. On what is only her third album, she gathers together the cream of local session musicians, including guitar ace Conor Brady (who played on the original Commitments soundtrack) and drummer Dave Hingerty (The Frames, etc).
Kicking off with a classic Phil Spector-ish, ‘Be My Baby’ backbeat on ‘Can You Hear Me’ (also featuring former Lone Justice singer Maria McKee) and the sweet soul of ‘Make It Easier’, it’s clear where her musical loyalties and inspirations lie. Her approach and singing style continues in the tradition of a long list of white soul sisters, past and present: Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Amy Winehouse and Duffy (In fact it would be surprising if Dusty In Memphis wasn’t a major influence on the sound of this record - ‘Crimes’ could have been lifted directly from those 1968 sessions). The single ‘Radio’ (featuring a surprising cameo form Eno) is a swampy, bluesy, brassy stew – of the kind that Tina Turner would have routinely belted out on her revue shows in the 1970s.
But it’s on the steamy gospel of ‘Heal Me’ where she pleads for redemption like an old school evangelist, and the slow-burning, ‘Hand On My Heart’ where her voice really shines. In the style of Aretha’s ‘Share Your Love With Me’ and Lorraine Ellison’s ‘Stay With Me Baby’, the latter is a tour-de-force performance from all concerned, with an arrangement straight out of the Atlantic Records studio rulebook. A strong collection of soul tunes that will bolster her reputation – and the perfect way to whet your appetite for her live shows.
Key track: 'Hand On My Heart'